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Election Commission confident of finding way to hold new vote

Election Commission (EC) member Boonsong Noisophon said the EC would today discuss holding a new election following the Constitutional Court's nullifying of the February 2 election.

He said the EC was expected to resolve the issue of holding a new election in today's meeting, as the country needed to have a new Cabinet to replace the caretaker government.

He personally felt the election did not have to be held within 60 days because the court ruling did not specify a timeframe for the new election.

EC deputy secretary-general Dussadee Pornsuksawat said even though the Constitutional Court ruled to nullify the election, the EC still had to proceed with its investigation of 36 electoral complaints classified into three issues: revoking the right of election, holding a new election, and criminal offences.

Former government chief whip and Pheu Thai Party Lopburi MP candidate Aumnuay Khlangpha said the EC did not need to issue a new royal decree for another election. The agency had to urgently call a new election so that the country had 95 per cent of its total MPs within 180 days after the House was dissolved, he said.

He said the new general election could be held in April or early May.

Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said the Senate election showed that a lot of voters marked their ballot "no vote". This meant they had lost faith in the election system because of the high percentage of no votes and low turnout of voters.

He said it was time caretaker PM Yingluck Shinawatra revised the election system or found out why voters reject elections.

The Democrats proposed a five-point reform plan be implemented before a new general election was called: politicians must respect the justice system; stop corruption; stop violence in all forms; stop discrimination by state officials; and stop destroying the rule of law such as by issuing laws to whitewash wrongdoers.

He said if the government was willing to discuss the reform plan and produce concrete implementation, the party was ready to take part in the election - but the election must be held over the next four to six months to restore public confidence in the new election system.

"If Pheu Thai refuses the reform plan, the election will not take place or will be nullified again. Pheu Thai must admit we are in a crisis and solve problems otherwise people would again disrupt or block elections," he said.


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